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Posted on October 4, 2017 by staff

TfL and Uber hail ‘constructive’ meeting

A face-to-face meeting between the new boss of ride-hailing giant Uber and Transport for London has been hailed as “constructive”.

Chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi flew from Uber’s headquarters in San Francisco to London to meet with TfL commissioner Mike Brown on Tuesday.

The move comes less than two weeks after TfL said that it would not renew Uber’s licence as it was not a “fit and proper operator”.

The meeting has been described by both parties as “constructive”.

In a statement, Uber said: “Our new CEO had a constructive meeting with the Transport Commissioner this afternoon. We hope to have further discussions over the coming weeks as we are determined to make things right in London.”

A TfL spokesperson added: “Today’s constructive meeting centred on what needs to happen to ensure a thriving taxi and private hire market in London where everyone operates to the same high standards.

“Further steps in this process will take place over the coming weeks.”

Last week, Khosrowshahi issued an open letter to Londoners to apologise for the “mistakes we’ve made” and also acknowledged that the company “must change”.

This week, Uber’s northern European manager Jo Bertram resigned after saying the company needed a new manager in the region to tackle the issues it faces.

In a separate announcement on Tuesday, Uber said its board approved a series of governance changes that would pave the way for a huge investment from Japanese tech investor SoftBank, which is reportedly expected to be between $1bn and $1.2bn.

It would include expanding the 11 board seats to as many as 17 people, including three independent directors voted on by the board and up to three seats for SoftBank.

It comes as Uber gears up to proceed with an initial public offering (IPO) by 2019.

Uber’s founder Travis Kalanick said: “Today the board came together collaboratively and took a major step forward in Uber’s journey to becoming a world class public company.

“We approved moving forward with the SoftBank transaction and reached unanimous agreement on a new governance framework that will serve Uber well.

“Under Dara’s leadership and with strong guidance from the board, we should expect great things ahead for Uber.”